A worrying e-mail from my sister. A splitting headache. Geocaching in Auburn, and finished up the 2016 geocoin challenge. A trip to the fish store, and lunch across the road at Dixie's. Aspirin for the headache, which seems certain to blossom into a migraine (but it didn't, thank goodness). A tentative suggestion that we drive up to Mount Rainier for more geocaching, maybe drive up to Crystal Mountain. Fresh air... that sounded good to me!
Before this summer, I'd never been to Crystal any time other than ski season. This year we've driven up four times, to check out the views, to ride the gondola (missed it by four days), and to geocache. Taking up skiing isn't very likely, but it would be fun to drive up one brilliant winter day and hang out on the patio, and enjoy the snowy scenery.
The new patio-covering umbrella at Crystal Mountain
At the end of the day, after exploring horse camps and trails and driving up to the top of Chinook Pass, we ended up at the Greenwater Tavern for an early dinner. We ended up spending a few hours there, chatting with the bartender, one of the accountants at Crystal Mountain (who we met earlier), a forest service crew, and the owner. It always surprises me (in a good way) that people in small towns are so friendly and outgoing. It's such a contrast to how people act in the city, even a fairly small one like ours. I love spending time in small towns, where people remember how to be neighborly.
Our afternoon in the mountains, near my favorite national park, was the perfect way to chase away a headache on this cold day.